By Shane Sanderson, Casper Star-Tribune via Wyoming News Exchange

 

CASPER — The former middle school teacher accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl he met while teaching pleaded not guilty Thursday morning to the three felonies he faces.

Jason Waugaman, 36, appeared free on bail in Natrona County District Court, where during a brief hearing he entered the pleas to two counts of second-degree sexual abuse and a single count of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor.

Judge Catherine Wilking also modified his bail requirements to include a provision that Waugaman not have contact with anybody under the age of 18 while awaiting trial.

Although a circuit court judge in January had ordered Waugaman not have contact with minors while out on bail, paperwork Judge Steven Brown filled out at the earlier appearance did not match his oral statement: it only prohibited contact with people under the age of 15. Wilking’s order on Thursday changed that requirement.

Waugaman, who worked as a part-time teacher at Dean Morgan Junior High School, was fired by the school district following his January arrest. The charges he faces allege that he in 2016 sexually abused a girl whose seventh grade class he taught for about a month.

The former teacher was held in custody for about a week. He was then bonded out on the $10,000 requirement set by Brown.

Waugaman has been described by the district as a part-time teacher and a substitute educator.

In the district’s directory, he was listed as a tutor at Dean Morgan. He has also been identified, by former students and via official websites, as the speech and debate coach at Kelly Walsh High.